I’ve thought long and hard about publishing this post. Its brutally honest and frankly, depressing, which is not my style. But sometimes the best thing to do is tell the truth.
We’re having a really rough December.
Just after Thanksgiving my husband’s health took a dive and he spent the next week in the hospital. While he was there I caught a cold and spent a few days dripping and coughing on the couch. While I was sick the puppy got sick. When I called the only friend my age in Portland over to watch movies and walk the dogs for me he mistook it for a booty call, then bailed on me. Our dogs which have experienced a lot of changes in their environment and a lot less exercise lately decided to take it out on another dog we saw on our walk. The other dog was owned by two of Portland’s biggest jerks. One of them crossed the street with my puppy in a choke hold whimpering in pain while the other one screamed at me hysterically. I had to beg to get the puppy back and instead of accept my apology and collect my information in case their dog was hurt, they stormed off and filed a report against us that is now in our permanent rental history record. I have to go talk to the manager about the insurance claim and they will be “taking further actions against the animals.” How did the dogs I have taken to work with me; the dogs that used to be perfect angels off leash with children crawling all over them on the beaches; the dogs that know how to search and rescue and run next to a bike; the dogs I am constantly getting compliments about become “vicious” animals that require legal action against them?!
My flight instructor got a job with a regional airline and left the flight school so I have to get my scissors out and begin cutting through the red tape again to find another good CFI. But flying is the last thing on my mind right now because the cultures from the hospital came back and the doctors have declared my husband has tuberculosis.
Does that still happen? Do people still get tuberculosis outside of the Old Wild West and developing countries? In 2015? Really? Yes, apparently they do.
Now both he and the dogs are “a threat to public safety” and the team of CF specialists has been replaced by representatives from the CDC who have quarantined him to our apartment for at least the next two weeks until they know how contagious he is. Strangers in duck masks appear at our door daily to collect sputum samples. He hasn’t been able to go to work since Black Friday and his job is threatening to fire him. All of our insurance benefits are through his job.
Could it get worse? Maybe. Pending what strain my husband has and how contagious it is, I am told I will be tested for TB next and if it is found my body didn’t fight it off and I am contagious I too will be quarantined and unable to leave the apartment for a few weeks.
Accordingly, today I put all of my end-of-the-world prep skills to work. I am grocery shopping to have enough food for a month and stocking up on puzzles and board games. I am getting all of our Christmas stuff in the mail (relax, TB is not spread through touching the same things, only breathing the same air, and I’ll get to wear a super cool duck mask to go shopping).
Perhaps there is a silver lining to being under house arrest this month. A terrible storm from the Pacific has been reeking havoc on Portland. Neighborhoods are flooded, roads are collapsing, freeways are closed, every night the news begins with more landslides. Fortunately we live at the top of a hill. Instead of braving the weather, we can stay locked up in our 700 sq. ft. ark and play Risk.